Warriors use big third quarter to blast C.C. Carroll, 62-44
Dec. 10, 2010 at 6:10 a.m.
Shanequa Barfield gets told to use her size a lot on defense.
She can be an intimidating force inside on a team that doesn't rely typically on being taller than others.
But Friday night, the junior post for the Warriors didn't have a choice.
She was given a tough assignment against Corpus Christi Carroll - shut down post and leading scorer Melanie Jackson as much as possible.
"Coaches said you have to play good defense," she said. "Everybody else helped me out by covering for me. I had front side help and back side help. We held her. We held her good."
And in the third quarter, with her team surging, it was Barfield's defensive play that kept the Lady Tigers' big weapon in check, standing in her way literally and frustrating her attempts to score in the low post.
Barfield, as much as anyone on the team, wanted a win against the Lady Tigers, an old district foe from the team's Memorial days.
"We wanted to beat this team really badly," she said. "We were all ready. This team was ready for another win.
"We'd seen them before, we watched film yesterday and we knew how we had to play defense."
It was the kind of matchup coach Sandra Jimenez said the team needed.
"Shaniqua having the body and physically bumping her, and having the body to go up against," the coach said. "I don't know if we wore her down, but having a bigger kid on her made a difference."
The Warriors surged from a three-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to take the lead at half, then blew the Lady Tigers away by holding them to just four points in the third quarter.
West ran an eight-point lead to as much as 26 in a 62-44 victory Friday night at the West gym.
And for the Warriors, it was the kind of home performance they had been seeking.
"I think they'd been waiting for this breakout performance," Jimenez said. "And they had one already, and had been waiting for one at home. Once we had success on the offensive end, it led to better play on the defensive end.
"Once they felt that stealing the ball could be converted to easy points," "It just caused them to take chances defensively, that led to the easy transitional points."
Barfield didn't score. But she didn't need to with the team's trio of guards sinking everything in site.
Leading the way was junior guard Emily Skipper, who scored 13 of her 25 points in an explosive second quarter that saw the Warriors find their shot and jump take a lead which they would not reliquish on a 9-2 run to open the quarter.
"I had made my first shot, and I tried it again to see if I was feeling it," she said. "And that's just what happened. I found my rhythm."
Skipper joined with guards Sevanah Campos-Reyes and Eboni Murphy to play a sophisticated game of keep-away from the Carroll defense for much of the night.
"We kept the momentum of the game going pretty quick," Skipper said. "After one good thing, we'd get another, an we just let it keep going."
But for at least the first eight minutes of the game, it looked like the Lady Tigers might keep close if not lead most of the way.
The Warriors struggled out of the gate with their shooting, making just 3 of their first 12 shots in the game.
"We wanted to get the lead back, and we used our speed to build off of that," Skipper said.
But a Skipper steal on the opening inbounds pass, followed by a break away layup seemed to change everything.
It was one of five steals the junior guard had on the night. The Warriors finished with 18 overall.
"They were running their guards outside," Skipper said. "We were looking for that lob pass and we were able to get back-side help and read when that pass was coming in and going out."
But there was still the Jackson problem. Jimenez said post Tiffani Wyatt gives a lot up on height and size, something that the junior Barfield doesn't.
So, the coach went to Barfield late in the first quarter. And although Jackson still notched 10 points in the second quarter, much of that was contested with the junior post in her face.
The Carroll post wouldn't be so lucky in the second half.
"It was just like, holding her in and making sure I had her in front of me at all times," Barfield said.
Jackson got just one point, on a free throw, in the third quarter, and did little damage in the fourth. She finished with 19 points, with most of it in the first half.
NOTES: Campos-Reyes finished with the second most points for the Warriors, with 16 points on 7 of 16 shooting, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. Murphy added eight points. ... Warriors post Treka Franklin had 11 points and a good night in the paint Friday, but most noteworthy were the nine steals she accumulated, including five in the third quarter. ... Murphy's role this season has changed a little from last season, said assistant coach Debbie Brownson. The goal this year, she said, is to work on getting Murphy to be a scorer as well as the point guard who runs the Warriors offense.